Operating principles of carousel rides

A carousel, also known as a merry-go-round, is a particularly classic amusement park attraction that has been bringing joy to people of all ages for many years. Its operating principles are relatively simple, but they create a delightful and nostalgic experience for riders. Generally, there are two common types of carousels based on different drive mechanisms: the overhead drive and the under-drive carousel. Let’s explore the fundamental principles behind the operation of these two types of carousels.

Structure of Carousel Ride

Working Principle of Two Types of Carousel Rides

Currently, our factory produces three main types of carousel rides: the upper drive carousel, the simulated upper drive carousel, and the lower drive carousel. Each type of carousel has different working principles. Next, we will focus on the working principles of the upper drive and lower drive carousels.

Top-drive Carousel Ride

Top drive carousel ride from Beston Rides
The top drive carousel amusement ride for sale, refers to a type of carousel where the driving force is located above the rotating platform. This type of carousel relies on a motor-driven gear mechanism that, in turn, drives a crankshaft and connecting rods to achieve the rotation of the equipment and the up-and-down movement of the seats. Typically, this part of the mechanism is located in the middle of the canopy and ceiling. The primary load-bearing components of top-drive carousel rides are the central support pole and the supporting framework, with the track wheels providing auxiliary support.

Under-drive Carousel Ride

Under-drive carousel ride
The working principle of a bottom-drive carousel primarily involves the central vertical main shaft rotating, which, through the lower transmission device, drives the wheels below the main platform to rotate and move forward on the constructed track. The lower transmission device of the bottom-drive carousel consists of one motor, eight tires, and eight support arms (16-seat bottom-drive carousel). Its motor drives gears to rotate through a belt, thus propelling the track wheels to rotate the equipment. Then drives the articulated arms to rotate and moves the fibreglass horses up and down.

Difference Between Top-drive Carousel and Under-drive Carousel

  • Longevity: Overhead drive carousels have a longer lifespan and are less prone to damage, typically lasting for 8 to 10 years.
  • Even Chassis: The chassis of overhead drive carousels is generally more even and has a lower height, making it easier for passengers to board and disembark.
  • Smooth Up-and-Down Motion: The up-and-down motion in overhead drive carousels is typically smooth, and maintenance and operating costs are relatively low.
  • However, it’s worth noting that overhead drive carousels have certain disadvantages as well. Their construction and design require high precision and complexity, and they have strict requirements for the quality of materials, particularly the steel used. Consequently, overhead drive carousels from Beston Rides are usually more expensive compared to their under-drive counterparts.

All in all, overhead drive carousels are a type of carousel ride where the drive mechanism is located above the platform. They offer benefits such as longevity, even chassis, and smooth motion, but are typically more complex and costly to manufacture due to their high construction and material quality requirements. Generally speaking, the operating principles of a carousel ride involve a rotating platform with a central axis, a variety of beautifully crafted animals that move up and down through a system of gears and mechanisms, safety measures to protect riders, operator control, music, and lighting to enhance the experience. These principles combine to create a charming and enduring amusement park attraction that continues to bring joy to people of all generations.


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